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377 last won the day on April 25

377 had the most liked content!

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  • Main Canopy Size
  • Main Canopy Other
    Triathlon 210
  • Reserve Canopy Size
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    PDR 193
  • AAD
    Cypres 2

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  1. When plaintiff's lawyers get involved, facts get spun and cherry picked. It becomes difficult to sort out what really happened. P Chapman's post is the best short summary of what really happened in that Flores fiasco that I have ever read. It is balanced.
  2. 377

    AAF near Monterey Ca

    Bay Area Skydiving at Byron CA is a good AFF DZ. Good gear, good plane, good instructors. HUGE surrounding areas for hazard-free landings, if for some reason, you end up landing off the DZ. Good vibe, helpful community of experienced jumpers who welcome newcomers to the sport. If you are on a tight budget do check Lodi out. Last I heard they were still offering AFF for $1000 (checked their website today, 5/7/2019). They jump every day so you could go from zero to licensed in a week staying locally. A bit of advice, spend a few bucks for tunnel time with an instructor and learn how to get stable before you ever exit a plane. I Fly SF Bay is a vertical wind tunnel located in Union City. There are lots of discount coupons around. COSTCO used to have a good prepaid deal. You will nail AFF if you enter it already knowing how to fly stable in freefall. Even better if you learn turns, flips etc. Skydive California in Tracy is also a good DZ with a really tidy setup. Hope you get your A license and enjoy the best air sport on the planet.
  3. 377

    DB Cooper

    Good find on that WW2 24 ft B8 rig. Bet it was twill, not ripstop. 377
  4. 377

    DB Cooper

    "2. MAKE: Pioneer TYPE: 24 ft white ripstop conical, SERIAL NO: 60-9707, DATE OF MFR: 7/60 (1960) --- packed by Cossey 5/21/71 (This back chute was left on the plane, ID'd by National Guard in Reno)" I've never seen a 24 ft white ripstop conical. Dudeman? All the white ripstop conicals I saw pre 1971 were Navy 26 ft ones. 377
  5. I am 69 years old and in my 51st year of skydiving. I had two cutaways, one over Pope Valley CA in 1972 using military surplus gear and one over Rantoul Illinois using modern gear in 2005. I see skydiving as a very risky sport and see myself as a lucky cautious participant. Perry Stevens D-51 taught me how to jump in 1968. One bit of advice he gave me was: "when something looks marginal to you, take a pass on it, ALWAYS." Marginal planes, marginal gear, marginal jump plans, marginal weather etc. I've done nearly everything I can to mitigate risk. I jump with an RSL and a Cypres AAD. I don't swoop, wingsuit or BASE jump. I practice emergency procedures. I get gear checks before I board. I was a very early AAD user, buying an SSE Sentinal 2000 as soon as they hit the market. Back then experienced jumpers who wore AADs were ridiculed, but I didn't care. When I could finally afford a square canopy, I bought a conservative one (Triathlon) that would put me at 1.2 to 1 wing loading and never downsized even on subsequent buys. My reserve is almost as big as my main. If steady winds exceed 18 mph I wait for better conditions. I passed on manifesting for Twin Beech jumps on really hot days with loads that clearly exceeded max gross limits. I passed on really green Cessna piston jumpship pilots. I passed on having beer with lunch at a DZ where it was SOP. I could go on but you get the picture. I am not gloating or saying I am better than people who take more risk than I do. My point is that there are many things you can do (or more accurately NOT do) that will substantially reduce risk and still allow you to participate in the best sport on the planet. You won't be sharing granite skimming wingsuit videos with your friends but you can still have a great time.
  6. 377

    DB Cooper

    "The best altimeter on the planet is... the planet." LOVE IT!!! I made my first 38 post training solo jumps with no altimeter. I was a struggling college student who would rather spend the money on jumps. I got good at spotting and good and visually estimating altitude over well-known terrain. I was once riding as a passenger on a corporate King Air in Brazil. The pilot came back into the cabin and asked how the passengers were enjoying the flight. He asked if we would care to guess how high the plane was flying. I told him I'd bet him I could nail it within 500 feet. He took the bet. I had a really great steak dinner on him in Sao Paolo. It got even better because he invited a friend who had flown A4 Skyhawks for Argentina in the Falklands War. The stories he told of attacking British ships at mast top height were riveting, enhanced by serial Caipirinhas. Still jump an old SSE Altimaster 2. I have all the fancy L&B stuff too, but I am an engineer and I'll take simple aneroid mech baro as my primary reference any day. No batteries needed. No electronic components to age or fail. Do you think Cooper had prior parachuting experience? Just wondering. 377
  7. 377

    DB Cooper

    I keep seeing references to a 28 ft Conical. E.g.: "Sounds like to me that Cooper jumped with the 'military back pack parachute' the 28 foot conical, belonging to Hayden." There was no 28 ft Conical, only a 26 ft Conical. The 28 ft canopy was a C9 mil surplus round. 377
  8. 377

    DB Cooper

    Cool story Dudeman, but very sad to hear that one of your ski slope skydive buddies went in. Camcorders and Dytters? When I started it was heavy WW2 surplus gun movie cameras that shot 16 mm film, not tape. Most of the gun cams required 24 volts DC to run, necessitating really heavy battery packs. There were a few 12 volt ones but they were very scarce and pricey. Developing 16 mm film was expensive, Every frame had to count. You didn't just leave it on and edit later. Steve Snyder made the first commercially successful audible altitude alert called the PARALERT. It had inadequate volume, I rarely heard mine amidst the freight train roar of freefall. Good to see fellow skydivers posting. We seem to bitch a little less than regular folks. 377
  9. 377

    DB Cooper

    I missed that scary little detail. Good catch dudeman. Can you even imagine a static line in tow situation on a 727? Yikes. I was paying attn to the chase plane, which I believe was a turboprop equipped Beech 18, likely a Tradewind conversion. Air America had some of those. When I jumped from the DC 9-21 at WFFC Rantoul IL in 2006 they had removed the stairs and lined the exit area with smooth sheet metal to reduce snag risks. 377
  10. 377

    DB Cooper

    727 range would have allowed reaching Mexico at normal long-range cruise altitudes, but Cooper demanded flight altitude of 10,000 feet. Those JT8Ds get REALLY thirsty at low altitudes, dramatically reducing range. I once got some right seat instruction time in a Lear 24 bizjet. The fuel burn rate ground taxying at 7 mph was darned close to the burn rate we saw at 42,000 ft going .86 Mach. Sure, those were turbojets on that ancient Learjet, not high bypass turbofans, but the principle is the same. 377
  11. 377

    DB Cooper

    A very moving post E. Vicki. Brought a tear to my eye. Hope you can find out what happened to your Dad. 377
  12. 377

    DB Cooper

    WolfRiverJoe wrote: "Oh yeah. I forgot all about the 'squidding' idea. One of the dynamics of round openings that is being lost to time (at least for sport jumpers) because we don't jump them anymore." Initially, I also thought that an immediate deployment off the off the stairs of the 727 at roughly 200 mph could prove fatal. Some early head down skydivers suffered fatal coronary artery dissections from huge G forces generated by accidental canopy openings at speeds well above terminal velocity. When I was searching for info on 727 jumps in SE Asia I connected with Dr. Joe Leker at U of Texas who is an expert on the history of covert air ops in SE Asia. He sent me a video of 727 S/L jumps which is now on YouTube included in an Air Americal documentary you can see here: (start at 1:07:56). I was quite surprised to see how gentle the deployments were. The "squidding" unique to round canopies, provided a very slow opening. 377
  13. 377

    DB Cooper

    I am in my 51st year of skydiving, still active. Jumped at many CA DZs including Taft, Elsinore, Livermore, Antioch, Tracy, Pope Valley, Byron etc. Quincy and Rantoul IL too. So many good memories. I too had heard a rumor that DB Cooper jumped at Taft but no details at all. 377
  14. 377

    DB Cooper

    Robert B, how do you get those killer deals on Amazon? Hope you find something relevant with your metal detectors. Needle in a haystack but still fun trying. 377
  15. 377

    DB Cooper

    At my home DZ back in the 1960s they had rental chest reserves, $1 per jump. Seemed like a good deal to me until I read a couple of the packing cards: 24 ft TWILL (not Ripstop) canopies. No thanks. Bought a cheap surplus 26 ft Navy Conical (Ripstop fabric) and an Army chest container. Had Perry Stevens (D-51) assemble it and make it all legal (which involved cutting off some Navy canopy mod that had yellow nylon tape segments sewn between panels along the skirt, had some purpose in water landings). That 26 ft Navy Conical saved my life later on when I had to cut away from a high speed malfunction. I had heard horror stories about the 24 ft twill reserve canopies ripping from top to bottom on terminal openings. My trusty Navy Conical gave me a standup landing in the pea gravel. Still wonder about the Tosaw account of Cooper reading a packing card. Wish I could talk to Tina Mucklow about that alleged incident. Derek, what's with the attitude? Let's all be cordial here. There is room for disagreement without disrespect. No need to start the spiral into chaos that got this forum shut down last time. 377